Eastbourne lifeboat stalwart stands down

Paul Metcalfe at the helm of Eastbourne's Diamond Jubilee lifeboat on Sunday morning SUS-161003-115540001

Paul Metcalfe at the helm of Eastbourne's Diamond Jubilee lifeboat on Sunday morning SUS-161003-115540001

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Lifelong seafarer and lifeboat station manager Paul Metcalfe retires this weekend on his 70th birthday.

Paul has been involved with the lifeboat since 1980 and served as a shore helper, crew member on the inshore and all weather lifeboats, mechanic, radio operator, launch authority and in recent years the lifeboat operations manager.



He has been credited for playing a part in saving 197 lives from shipwreck and since Paul took on his latest role, Eastbourne lifeboats are not only recorded to have saved more than 200 lives, in 2014 the station was the busiest in Britain.

In that year, the boats were launched to one of the most reported and devastating situations when Eastbourne’s historic pier caught fire. Paul was on duty and co-ordinated the operation that involved all the emergency services including lifeboats from Eastbourne, Hastings and Newhaven. Both Paul and all the other crew involved worked tirelessly for more than 16 hours, eventually being stood down at 6am the morning after the fire started.

During Paul’s time as lifeboat operations manager, he has also taken on many other duties relating to RNLI Eastbourne as well as being invited, due to his long service, to become chairman of Eastbourne Sea Cadets.

In recent months Paul, along with his wife Maureen, have become part of the mayor of Eastbourne’s charity committee, as one of this year’s beneficiaries is RNLI Eastbourne.

Born and bred in Eastbourne, Paul received a standing ovation at last Friday night’s annual mayor’s ball for his dedication and service to Eastbourne RNLI.

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